These days, messaging apps are as important as ever. Being able to quickly and reliably contact anyone in your life is essential — it's why Google continues to boost its RCS capabilities. WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging clients worldwide, but it has its fair share of limitations. Video files have always been compressed unless sent as a document, but a future update to the app might finally add quality options.
Google's Pixel phones may offer stellar still photography, but they've never been known to focus much effort on video. That seems to be changing with the release of the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G. Google is bringing a handful of new "Hollywood-inspired" stabilization effects that should make videos a lot more fun to capture: Locked, Active, and Cinematic Pan.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed how we all do business, take classes, and meet our family members. Many of our streaming apps have had to lower the video quality to spare some bandwidth for the more important stuff. Following Netflix’s lead, YouTube also began capping the video resolution to standard definition on mobile phones. What was supposed to be a temporary restriction for Indian users has now been in place for three months, affecting hundreds of millions, and there's no sign that Google will ease it anytime soon.
There's nothing worse than watching your favorite show and having it pause to buffer at the most intriguing moment. Unfortunately, commuters can experience this quite often, but Netflix is trying an unusual way to solve this issue. Indeed, the company is testing how it can improve video quality while a viewer is on the go by tracking their "physical activity."
YouTube for Android has had a few ups and downs in the last months as the native app was replaced by what is essentially a web wrapper (you can test it by going to youtube.com/tv) and dumped many features that were later slowly added back. The latest of the features to make it back onto the interface is the resolution adjustment selector that you can see in the screenshot above. Also rolling out is a new interface, but it doesn't appear to be live for everyone just yet.
YouTube usually updates your video's resolution on the fly depending on your connection speed, but if you want to manually choose a specific quality setting, you can do so now.
There's a reason we here at AP have a dedicated Verizon hero with devilish features grafted on: the company consistently makes changes that are unfair to its customers. After limiting video quality to 480p and 720p depending on the tier of unlimited plan back in August, Verizon has now brought full-quality streams back - for an extra $10 per month.
With so many things happening this week surrounding Google's new hardware, it's easy to overlook some of the software updates rolling out. The latest version bump to YouTube Music doesn't include much in the way of visible changes, but a teardown of the apk also reveals some worthwhile additions in the works for the future. As always, the apk is ready and waiting at the APK Mirror link below if the Play Store isn't already serving the latest version to you.
Many of Google's most recent updates have been relatively light on features, turning instead towards cleaning up bugs. However, that doesn't mean there aren't still new things in the works. A couple of recent YouTube updates have been preparing some new features and we've got a teardown to reveal what users can probably look forward to in the future.
Vine isn't a platform known for outstanding videography, on account of being limited to mobile cameras (not to mention the time limit). But starting today, users on Android should notice a definite improvement in the quality of uploaded videos, at least according to the latest app update. Of course, the quality will still be limited by your phone or tablet's camera and the shooting conditions in any particular location. Exactly how video quality is being improved (bitrate bump? Resolution? Post-processing?) hasn't been addressed.
The only other notable update is to the notification options. I'm not a regular Vine user myself, but the Settings menu now includes options to display Likes, Comments, Re-vines, Mentions, and Follows in either a semi-curated "tailored to you" fashion or from anyone.
For people who have a Comcast cable subscription, the Xfinity TV Go app is quite the nice piece of software. Rather than just providing shows for immediate streaming, which is less groundbreaking these days than it used to be, Comcast provides quite a few channels for live streaming. Now many more networks are available, including A&E, Cooking Channel, DIY, Food Network, HGTV, History Channel, MUN2 (companion to Telemundo), Sprout, Starz, TBS, TRUtv, TNT, and the Travel Channel. Aside from missing CBS, March Madness is pretty much covered.
Unfortunately, the experience could still be much better. There's no channel line-up, and the name of the currently playing network is about as much information as you're going to get.